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  • July 15, 2022

    In the West Bank, unknown assailants opened fire at a car carrying 4 settlers to Joseph’s Tomb, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, lightly injuring the 4 settlers. Israeli forces...

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  • April 24, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military protection raided Qaryut; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also razed 10 dunams (2.5 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in al-Farisiya....

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  • December 12, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided the home of Hassan Yousef, a member of the PLC for Hamas, in Beitunia and arrested him. Israeli forces also raided Rummana, dispersing Palestinians...

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  • April 5, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up tents on Palestinian-owned land in Taqqua and 2 mobile homes in Asira. Israeli forces demolished barracks and construction materials in Jinsafut. 11...

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  • April 3, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Jalud with sticks and rocks; when Israeli forces arrived, they fired stun grenades at other Palestinians trying to help the man...

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  • March 11, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at 2 Palestinian children near Yatta; no injuries were reported. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Dura, Bayt Ula,...

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  • February 16, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 9 vehicles parked outside the Shiloh settlement belonging to Palestinians working in the settlement; a...

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  • December 6, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers cut down 42 olive trees and demolished 1 Palestinian-owned wall in Yasuf. Israeli settlers also set up caravans on Palestinian-owned land in the northern Jordan...

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  • November 22, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at 2 Palestinian farmers tending their land in Shushahla near Bethlehem. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinians who were trying to force...

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  • September 1, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed protesters near Tulkarm; a...

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  • December 18, 2018

    In the West Bank, hundreds of armed Israeli settlers visit the Saint Saba Monastery outside Bethlehem overnight, sparking a tense confrontation between their IDF escort and Palestinians in the...

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  • June 20, 2018

    Hours after Israeli air strikes across Gaza on 6/19, Hamas and other armed groups launch approximately 45 rockets and other projectiles toward Israel; 3 fall short of the border fence, Israel’s...

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  • January 29, 2012

    The IDF makes a brief incursion into demolished Dahaniyya airport site in s. Gaza, arresting 2 Palestinians (including 1 Fatah mbr.). The IDF conducts morning patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 2...

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  • July 17, 2010

    Mitchell returns to the region for 3 days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian peace teams, Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Shaykh Muhammad bin Zayid al-Nahayan to...

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  • March 1, 2000

    The Knesset, including much of Barak's governing coalition, approves (60-53) a draft bill designed to block a Golan withdrawal by requiring a referendum on a peace agmt. with Syria...

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  • September 11, 1999

    Israel's Interior M Natan Sharansky suspends the revocation of the Jerusalem residency card of al-Quds University prof. Musa Budeiri. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the Jerusalem residency rights...

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  • July 25, 1999

    World leaders attend funeral of King Hassan II of Morocco in Rabat. Egypt's Mubarak, Israel's Barak, Jordan's King Abdallah, PA's Arafat, U.S.'s Clinton attend. Although Syria's Asad stays in...

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  • June 5, 1999

    In Cairo, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah continues talks with Pres. Mubarak on the peace process, bilateral relations. (Saudi Arabian Kingdom Radio Network 6/5 in WNC 6/8)

    In Hebron,...

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  • June 4, 1999

    In Amman, King Abdallah of Jordan, Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia call on Israeli PM-elect Barak to exchange land for peace with the Palestinians. The crown prince then heads to Cairo,...

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  • June 3, 1999

    Yugoslavia accepts an international peace plan negotiated by Russia, Finland (acting for NATO) for ending Kosovo conflict. The plan provides "substantial autonomy" for Kosovo, return of all 850,...

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  • June 2, 1999

    PLO Executive Committee (PLOEC) meets in Ramallah to discuss resumption of the 4/27+n29 PLO Central Council (PCC) mtg., which will continue discussion on possible declaration of a Palestinian...

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  • May 16, 1999

    A day before Israeli elections, 2 minor candidates--Center party's Yitzhak Mordechai, Herut's Benjamin Begin--withdraw fr. the race for PM, fearing their campaigns undermine efforts to unseat...

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  • February 7, 1999

    King Hussein dies. Crown Prince Abdallah is sworn in as King Abdallah II, appoints his half-brother Hamza as crown prince. Jordan declares a wk. of mourning. Syria, Egypt announce official 3-day...

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  • January 22, 1999

    King Hussein removes his brother Prince Hassan as crown prince, says one of his sons (most likely Abdallah, his eldest by a previous marriage, or Hamza, his eldest by Queen Nur) will be designated...

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  • January 1, 1996

    EU Elections Unit (EUEU), charged with observing the elections process, criticizes Arafat for violating election laws, incl. shortening the campaign period fr. 22 days to 2 wks. and increasing the...

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  • July 8, 1994

    IDF imposes curfew on Hebron Palestinians, clashes with Qiryat Arba settlers protesting death of settler girl.  Settlers occupy 3 apt. bldgs. on hill nr. Qiryat Arba; IDF declares hill closed...

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  • December 10, 1991

    Bilateral Israeli-Syrian, Israeli-Lebanese peace talks resume in Washington. But talks between Israel, Jordanians, Palestinians fail to take place when Israel rejects 2-track approach of meeting...

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  • January 14, 1991

    France issues 6-point 11th-hour initiative calling for Saddam to leave Kuwait; similar appeal is made by Yemen, Algeria, Tunis, and Libya. EC gov'ts., frustrated by seeing diplomatic efforts...

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  • October 13, 1990

    3-day "Popular Kuwaiti Congress" grouping 1,200 Kuwaiti exiles opens in Jeddah with Crown Prince suggesting the country's defunct parliament would be revived and free elections held once Kuwait is...

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  • January 16, 1983

    Military Action:

    IDF ambushed in Tyre.

    Casualties:

    Some IDF wounded in Tyre; Ansar review committee recommends release of 150, 1,100 cases heard out of 5,400 detainees, review...

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In the West Bank, unknown assailants opened fire at a car carrying 4 settlers to Joseph’s Tomb, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, lightly injuring the 4 settlers. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 5 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Palestinians protested U.S. president Joe Biden in Bethlehem ahead of the president’s visit (see below). (JP, MDW, WAFA 7/15; PCHR 7/21; UNOCHA 7/22)

U.S. president Joe Biden continued his 4-day Middle East trip, leaving Israel for East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In East Jerusalem, President Biden visited the Augusta Victoria Hospital, announcing $100 million in aid for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network that serves Palestinians from East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. The funding of the hospital will need U.S. congressional approval. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump had cut U.S. funding in medical aid for the PA. Biden’s visit was the 1st by a sitting U.S. president to East Jerusalem, outside of the Old City. In Bethlehem, Biden and PA president Mahmoud Abbas met and held a press conference, where President Abbas stressed that a 2-state solution will not be tenable forever and called for accountability for Israel’s killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Additionally, Abbas called on the U.S. to reopen its consulate to Palestinians and delist the PLO from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, saying “we are not terrorists.” Biden for his part called for a “full and transparent” investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh, voiced support for a 2-state solution along the 1967 borders with land swaps, and announced that Israel had said it would allow Palestinian phone companies to connect to 4G networks by the end of 2023. Biden also announced $201 million in funding for UNRWA and $15 million in aid for food security via the UN World Food Program and 2 NGOs. Additionally, it was reported that Israel will open the Allenby Bridge on a 24-hour basis and assess if the PA should have a presence at the crossing. It was reported by Palestinian sources that the 2 leaders gave separate statements after failing to agree on a joint statement. After meeting with President Abbas, Biden headed to Saudi Arabia where he was greeted by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman with a “fist-bump,” despite promising during his presidential campaign to make Saudi Arabia a pariah due to Crown Prince bin Salman’s involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It was announced by U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan that Saudi Arabia had opened its air space to all Israeli flights as part of the 2 countries’ path to normalization and Saudi officials said they would start discussions to approve flights from Israel to Saudi Arabia for Muslim pilgrims. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN in an interview that his country remains committed to the Arab Peace Initiative, saying “we need to have a process, and this process needs to include the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative. Once we have committed to a two-state settlement with a Palestinian state in the occupied territories with East Jerusalem as its capital, that’s our requirements for peace.” (ALM, HA, NYT 7/13; JP, POL, REU, TOI 7/14; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, ALM, ALM, AP, AP, AP, AX, AX, AX, AX, AX, AX, FOX, GDN, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, JP, MDW, MEE, MEE, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/15; AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, HA, JP, REU, WAFA 7/16; AJ, CNN, HA, HA, HA, INT, TOI, TOI 7/17; AJ, HA 7/18; HA 7/20; ALM 7/30)

As president Biden left the West Bank for Saudi Arabia, the UAE said it is opposed to a confrontational approach to Iran, seeking to send an ambassador to Iran to mend ties. (HA 7/15)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military protection raided Qaryut; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also razed 10 dunams (2.5 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in al-Farisiya. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers stole 35 olive tree saplings near Azmut. Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned land in Burin. Israeli forces also shot and injured 1 Palestinian man trying to enter Israel for work by the separation barrier near Tulkarm. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 6 nautical miles northwest of Rafah; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/24; PCHR 4/28; UNOCHA 5/13)

The Israeli high court of justice denied a petition to reopen an investigation into the killing of 4 Palestinian children by Israeli forces in 2014. The justices said the petitioners did not point to sufficient flaws in the attorney general’s decision to close the investigation. The petition was filed by Adalah, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. (AP, HA, PCHR 4/24; WAFA 4/25; MDW 4/26; PCHR 4/27; AJ 4/30)

1 Palestinian man was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 1 Israeli man in Israel in 2020. The Palestinian man was also ordered to pay $79,000 to the family of the Israeli man. (HA, TOI, WAFA 4/24)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett spoke to U.S. president Joe Biden, who said he would be visiting Israel in the coming months. The 2 also discussed potential U.S. plans to delist the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from its list of terrorist organizations—a move Israel opposes—and violence in Jerusalem. (ABC, AJ, AP, AX, HA, HILL, JP, MEE, REU, TOI 4/24)

Jordanian king Abdullah II, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, and UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met in Cairo, discussing trilateral ties and the situation at the Haram al-Sharif compound. (NAT, TOI 4/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided the home of Hassan Yousef, a member of the PLC for Hamas, in Beitunia and arrested him. Israeli forces also raided Rummana, dispersing Palestinians protesting the raid with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces delivered a demolition order for a house under construction in Nahalin. Israeli forces had arrested and severely beaten a man during a late-night house raid in Qalqas; the man was later admitted to a hospital in Beersheba. 2 others were arrested during late-night raids. In East Jerusalem, 20 Israeli settlers vandalized 12 Palestinian-owned vehicles in Bab al-Zahara. 1 Palestinian was arrested in Isawiya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Jabalia refugee camp and 6 nautical miles north of Rafah; no injuries were reported. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Dayr al-Balah. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/12; MEMO 12/13; PCHR 12/16; MEE 1/2)

In Lebanon, 4 people were killed and 7 injured during a shootout in the Burj el-Shemali refugee camp. The event unfolded during the funeral procession for 1 person who was killed during an explosion in the camp on 12/10. There were differing reports of the events, including 1 that said the shooting was between Hamas and Fatah members. Hamas claimed that the killings were ordered by the PA. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 12/12; HA, MEMO 12/13)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett arrived in the UAE for meetings with UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and later, on 12/13, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This marked the 1st time an Israeli prime minister visited the UAE, planned since the normalization deal between the 2 countries in 2021 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AJ, AP, HA, HA 12/12; REU 12/13)

The Washington Post reported that Israel had conducted air strikes in Syria on 3/5/2020 and 6/8/2021, allegedly to counter Syria’s chemical weapons program. (TOI, WP 12/13; HA, MEMO 12/14)

Administrator of USAID Samantha Power said during a speech at a gala hosted by the Alliance for Middle East Peace that aid to Palestinians suffers under politicization, which makes it controversial. Administrator Power said that aid to Palestinians had broad consensus for decades but that that consensus had been waning. (HA 12/12)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up tents on Palestinian-owned land in Taqqua and 2 mobile homes in Asira. Israeli forces demolished barracks and construction materials in Jinsafut. 11 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Kaubar, Jalazun refugee camp, al-Izzariya, Qalandia, Sa‘ir, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, 3 Palestinians were arrested during a raid in Issawiyya. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/5; PCHR 4/8)

The PA sent letters to members of the Quartet for Middle East Peace, urging them to pressure Israel to allow East Jerusalemites to partake in the upcoming elections. (WAFA 4/5)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas went to Germany for a medical checkup. President Abbas was later said to be in good health. (AJ, AP, HA 4/5; AJ, AP, WAFA 4/7; WAFA 4/8)

The trial against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu began after many delays. Prime Minister Netanyahu is charged with fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. Netanyahu’s trial began on the same day as Israeli president Reuven Rivlin started consulting with Israeli party leaders to determine who will go 1st at trying to form a government. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU 4/5; HA 4/6)

The Jerusalem Post reported that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer has halted shipments of 700,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Israel because the country owes the company payment for 2.5 million doses of vaccines already delivered. Israel made a deal with the company, allowing them to use more collected data by the Israeli health system, and paid more per dose than any other country. (JP 4/5)

Former Jordanian crown prince Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, who was put under house arrest on 4/3, said in a voice recording that he will not stay silent, thus disobeying the Jordanian army’s orders not to communicate with anyone. Prince Hamzah is accused of being part of a plot against his half-brother King Abdullah II. Later in the day, Prince Hamzah was said to have pledged allegiance to King Abdullah in a letter after talking to his and Abdullah II’s uncle Prince Hassan. (AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, HA, HA, REU 4/5; HA 4/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man in Jalud with sticks and rocks; when Israeli forces arrived, they fired stun grenades at other Palestinians trying to help the man being assaulted. The man was later taken to a hospital for his injuries; Yesh Din released a video of the incident. The same group of settlers also uprooted olive, pine, and cypress seedlings and damaged power lines in the area. Israeli forces shot, injured, and arrested 1 Palestinian man in Qatanna. 3 others were arrested at military checkpoints near Tulkarm and Taqqua. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen within 3 nautical miles west of Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported but there was reported damage to fishing nets. (WAFA 4/3; HA, WAFA 4/4; PCHR 4/8)

The PA said it will ease the COVID-19-related lockdown by reopening schools for pupils in grades 1-6. The PA also extended the COVID-related state of emergency for another 30 days. (WAFA, WAFA 4/3)

Jordan said it had foiled a “malicious plot” against the country and put around 2 dozen people in house arrest, including former crown prince and half-brother of King Abdullah II, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein. Jordan said that an Israeli national with ties to the Mossad, Roy Shaposhnik, was aiding the plot and had arranged for Prince Hamzah and his wife to be flown out of the country on a private jet. Shaposhnik told Axios that he was not part of the plot, nor in the Mossad, but said that he did offer assistance to Prince Hamzah because of their friendship. Shaposhnik was previously an advisor to then prime minister Ehud Olmert. In a recording sent to BBC, Prince Hamzah said he was sent into house arrest because he was associated with critics of the Jordanian government and then criticized corruption and lack of freedom of speech in Jordan, but denied being part of a plot. Among the other people put under house arrest were Sharif Hassan bin Zaid and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, who are both members of the royal family. Awadallah is also a former minister of planning and finance. Prince Hamzah was crown prince from when his father King Hussein died in 1999 until 2004. A number of Jordanian allies including the U.S., the PA, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and the Arab League expressed support of Abdullah II. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not comment on the situation, but defense minister Benny Gantz expressed support for Abdullah II. (AJ, AP, REU 4/3; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AX, BBC, HA, HA, HA, HA, NPR, NYT, REU, TOI, WAFA 4/4; AX, CNN, WAFA, WAFA 4/5; JP 4/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at 2 Palestinian children near Yatta; no injuries were reported. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Dura, Bayt Ula, Sa‘ir, and Dheisheh refugee camp; during the raid in Dheisheh refugee camp, Israeli forces shot and injured 3 Palestinians with live ammunition. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Johor al-Dik; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 3/11; PCHR 3/18)

PA health minister Mai al-Kaila said that the PA will receive a donation of 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China. Health Minister al-Kaila also said she had urged COVAX to stand by its initial promise of providing vaccines for Palestinians. According to al-Kaila, COVAX had originally promised vaccines to arrive in mid-February but now they are scheduled for May, and the number of vaccines earmarked for the PA is reduced to 168,000 down from 240,000. A shipment of 40,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses arrived in Gaza donated by the UAE. The former Fatah politician Mohammad Dahlan claimed responsibility for the shipment as he is a close advisor to the UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed. (HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 3/11)

Israeli authorities banned PA governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith from communicating with 50 Palestinians in the West Bank, including PA president Mahmoud Abbas and all members of the Fatah Central Committee. (WAFA 3/11)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as leader of Fatah, ejected Nasser al-Kidwa from the Fatah party because al-Kidwa had announced he would run on his own electoral list in the upcoming Palestinian elections. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, YNET, WAFA 3/11)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly canceled a trip to the UAE, where he was to meet with UAE crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed, because his wife Sara Netanyahu was hospitalized with appendicitis. Other reports suggested that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip was canceled due to a political conflict with Jordan over the cancelation of the Jordanian crown prince Hussein bin Abdullah’s visit to the Haram al-Sharif compound on 3/10, which was canceled because Israel and Jordan could not agree on security arrangement. In turn, Jordan is said not to have allowed Netanyahu to use Jordanian air space to get to the UAE. It was later reported that Netanyahu had ordered Israeli air space closed to Jordan in retaliation, but that the Israeli transportation ministry had stalled the order, which was eventually canceled. (AJ, ALM, AP, HA, HA, HA, JP, REU, REU, REU 3/11; WAFA 3/12; HA 3/14)

Prime minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš and prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán visited Israel to discuss cooperation in vaccine research and development with Prime Minister Netanyahu. During the trip, Prime Minister Babiš also opened a diplomatic office in Jerusalem. The Czech Republic received a donation of COVID-19 vaccines from Israel earlier this month. The PA and the Arab League condemned the Czech Republic’s decision to open the office in Jerusalem. (REU 3/9; HA, HA 3/11; ALM 3/12; AJ, HA, WAFA 3/13; HA, WAFA 3/14)

The Israeli state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the UAE state-owned weapons maker EDGE announced that they would develop an advanced drone defense system together. (ALM, REU 3/11; HA 3/12; JP 3/13)

Israel said it had concluded a military drill with Greece, Cyprus, and France in the Mediterranean Sea. (AJ, ALM, AP 3/12)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel has attacked at least 12 Iranian ships carrying oil and other goods en route to Syria since 2019, according to U.S. sources. 1 of the U.S. sources said that the Trump administration had tacitly supported the attacks. (HA, WSJ 3/11; ALM 3/15; HA 3/20)

Representatives from the UN, EU, Egypt, Jordan, Germany, and France met to discuss reviving talks between Israel and Palestine after the 2 countries’ elections this year. (AP 3/11)

A Los Angeles judge ruled to deny pro-Israeli lawyer David Abrams’s request to publicize the list of 64 presenters at a 2018 conference sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). Abrams, who works for the Zionist Advocacy Center, claimed he was looking for information related to “anti-Israel terrorists” but was ultimately not allowed to dox the pro-Palestinian activists. The UCLA police had concluded that none of the speakers were “terrorists.” (PalLegal 3/11; LAT 3/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 9 vehicles parked outside the Shiloh settlement belonging to Palestinians working in the settlement; a video of the incident shows the settlers throwing stones at the parked vehicles. Israeli forces seized 5 residential tents in Khirbet Humsa. 14 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Sur Bahir, Ramallah, Qaddura refugee camp, Silwad, Nablus, Barta‘a, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished residential sheds in Silwan, displacing 1 Palestinian family. 1 Palestinian was arrested in al-Tur. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland east of Gaza City. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/16; WAFA 2/17; PCHR 2/18)

After 2 days of protest, the Hamas-appointed chairman of the Higher Sharia Council Hassan Jojo said the council would redraft a law banning unmarried women in Gaza from traveling outside of the strip without approval from a male guardian. The law was initially passed on 2/14. (HA, REU 2/16)

The U.S. Biden administration said it would return to dealing with King Salman of Saudi Arabia rather than his son and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The announcement came during a press conference by White House spokesperson Jen Psaki, who also said that the Biden administration would start pressuring Saudi Arabia on human rights issues unlike the Trump administration approach. (REU 2/16; HA 2/17)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers cut down 42 olive trees and demolished 1 Palestinian-owned wall in Yasuf. Israeli settlers also set up caravans on Palestinian-owned land in the northern Jordan Valley. Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians during raids in Beita; injuries from rubber-coated bullets and tear gas were reported. Israeli forces also prevented Palestinians from working their land in Atuf and seized 2 bulldozers. 5 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Jenin, Tulkarm, Yatta, Nablus, and Dheisheh refugee camp. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians in Issawiyya; 1 Palestinian child was shot in his face with a rubber-coated bullet. 3 Palestinians were arrested during raids in al-Tur, Issawiyya, and the Old City. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza‘a; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/6; PCHR 12/10)

Saudi prince and former ambassador to the U.S. and the UK Turki al-Faisal al-Saud criticized Israel harshly during his remarks at the Manama Dialogue security conference in Bahrain. He called Israel a “Western colonizing” power and said Palestinians were “incarcerated in concentration camps under the flimsiest of security accusations.” Prince Turki al-Faisal’s remarks came right before the Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi, who joined the conference via video link. Foreign Minister Ashkenazi expressed regret toward Prince Turki al-Faisal’s remarks and said that he did not “believe that they reflect the spirit and change taking place in the Middle East.” While Prince Turki al-Faisal does not hold an official position in Saudi Arabia, his comments were perceived as surprisingly harsh given Israel’s normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE, which is suspected of having the tacit approval of Saudi Arabia and given the all-but-confirmed rumors about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu flying to Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman on 11/23. (AJ, BB, FT, HA, Twitter 12/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at 2 Palestinian farmers tending their land in Shushahla near Bethlehem. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinians who were trying to force settlers to leave their land near Susiya. Israeli forces raided a high school east of Qalqilya. Israeli forces also delivered a stop-work order for a water well and seized a drill in al-Khadir. Elsewhere, Israeli forces raided 1 high school in Qalqilya; no arrests were made. 5 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 during house raids in the Old City and Issawiyya; 1 was arrested at the Haram al-Sharif compound. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/22; PCHR 11/26)

A member of Gaza’s pandemic task force warned that Gaza was inching toward inability to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic as 79 of 100 ventilators in Gaza are in use. (REU 11/22)

Axios reported that Israeli officials said Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to the Saudi Arabian city Neom to meet with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo for a secret meeting. Neither side confirmed the meeting, but a public flight radar showed a private plane flying from Tel Aviv to Neom. It was also reported that the director of the Mossad Yossi Cohen took part in the meeting. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Netanyahu said at a memorial for David Ben-Gurion that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden should not rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (AX, HA, REU 11/22; AJ, AP, AX, BBC, FT, GDN, HA, HA, REU 11/23; HA 11/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces violently dispersed protesters near Tulkarm; a video from the demonstration shows Israeli soldiers kneeling on the face of a 60-year-old Palestinian man who was seen with a Palestinian flag; in another video, Israeli forces are seen breaking the window of a Palestinian-owned car. Israeli forces also handed stop-work notices for 7 structures in Kafr al-Dik and seized 15 bundles of bricks and other building materials in Tuqu’. 1 Palestinian was arrested during a late-night raid in Hebron. During a separate late-night raid in Bethlehem, clashes broke out, leading to tear-gas related injuries; no arrests were reported. In Gaza, 3 Palestinian children died as a fire broke out in their house in Nuseirat refugee camp. Palestinians in Gaza have had to resort to candles to light their homes as Israel has severely limited the amount of energy allowed in Gaza. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/1; AJ, BBC, PCHR 9/2; PCHR 9/3)

Senior advisor to U.S. president Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, met with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia in their respective countries in a bid to convince both to normalize ties with Israel. (REU 9/1; AJ, TOI 9/2)

In the West Bank, hundreds of armed Israeli settlers visit the Saint Saba Monastery outside Bethlehem overnight, sparking a tense confrontation between their IDF escort and Palestinians in the area; there are no clashes or injuries reported. Separately, Israeli settlers puncture the tires of several Palestinian vehicles and spray racist graffiti on nearby walls in Yasuf village near Salfit overnight; uproot approximately 100 trees on a Palestinian farm near Hebron; and damage a Palestinian vehicle’s windshield near Nablus. Israeli forces uproot approximately 200 cactus seedlings from a Palestinian farm near Nablus. IDF troops arrest 9 Palestinians during raids near Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Tubas, Jenin, and Tulkarm; and patrol near Nablus, Hebron, and Ramallah. An IDF raid in Dahaysha refugee camp sparks minor clashes; 1 Palestinian is injured. Unidentified assailants throw stones at an Israeli settler family driving near Hebron, lightly injuring a settler infant. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 7 Palestinians at a checkpoint at the entrance to Issawiyya and 15 more Palestinians during raids in the neighborhood. They also demolish 2 Palestinian homes in Jabal Mukabir. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian bird-hinter approaching the border fence near Gaza City. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Jabaliya refugee camp, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, MNA, MNA 12/18; MNA, MNA, WAFA 12/19; PCHR 12/20)

UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov reports to the UN Security Council (UNSC) that the Israeli authorities approved or advanced approximately 2,200 new housing units in West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements between 9/13 and 12/14, marking a record low since the UNSC established its current monitoring system with Resolution 2334 of 12/2016. (HA, TOI, YA 12/19)

The Wall Street Journal reports that the secret U.S.-backed effort to build a relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia has ground to a halt recently following the Saudi government’s removal of 2 top officials involved in the killing of a dissident journalist in Istanbul on 10/2. The killing and the ensuing international outcry have reportedly restricted Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “room to maneuver” and “dampened [his] appetite for risky foreign policy endeavors.” Israeli prime minister Netanyahu said as recently as last week that the killing of the journalist was “horrific,” but that it did not overshadow the value of a strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. (HA, TOI, WSJ 12/18)

Hours after Israeli air strikes across Gaza on 6/19, Hamas and other armed groups launch approximately 45 rockets and other projectiles toward Israel; 3 fall short of the border fence, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts 7, and the rest fall in open areas in Israel, causing no major damage or injuries. The IAF then conducts retaliatory strikes on a number of Hamas and PIJ sites in Rafah and near Gaza City, causing major damage. Late at night, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza’s coast near Gaza City, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and injure a Palestinian driver near Bethlehem. It’s unclear why they opened fire. Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home near Jerusalem, arrest 13 Palestinians, and injure 1 during late-night raids near Bethlehem, Hebron, and Nablus; and patrol near Hebron and Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish 1 Palestinian home each in Abu Dis and Qalandia refugee camp. They also arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids in Jabal Mukabir and al-Tur. (JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 6/20; MNA, PCHR 6/21; PCHR 6/27)

A Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained when IDF troops violently dispersed Palestinian protesters along Gaza’s border on 5/14, bringing the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 124. (MNA, PCHR, TOI, WAFA 6/21)

In the wake of the rocket fire from Gaza in the morning, Hamas and PIJ issue a joint statement claiming responsibility and threatening to retaliate for any future Israeli strikes in Gaza. “We are committed to a formula of a strike for every strike,” the statement reads. “We will not allow the enemy to dictate a new formula.” Earlier, an IDF spokesperson explained the IDF’s decision to escalate their response to incendiary kite and balloon attacks from Gaza on 6/19: “We struck at a greater intensity, with the intended message for Hamas to understand that we will not allow this situation to continue.” (HA, TOI 6/20)

U.S. president Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Kushner and Special Representative Greenblatt meet with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. They discuss possible humanitarian projects to help improve conditions in Gaza and the Trump administration’s long-awaited Palestinian-Israeli peace plan. (HA, TOI 6/20)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into demolished Dahaniyya airport site in s. Gaza, arresting 2 Palestinians (including 1 Fatah mbr.). The IDF conducts morning patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Jericho; conducts afternoon patrols in Tulkarm and 1 nearby village, plus 1 village nr. Ramallah; conducts late-night patrols in al-Bireh, Jericho, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Ramallah; conducts late-night house searches nr. Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli police seal for 30 days a Palestinian charity and a kindergarten with alleged ties to Hamas. (PCHR 2/2; OCHA 2/3)

Hamas leader Mishal arrives in Amman with Qatar’s crown prince Shaykh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and senior Hamas delegation (including his deputy, Musa Abu Marzuq, and 4 other senior officials) to meet with King Abdallah. Mishal says Hamas is eager to establish “unique relations” with Jordan, would “respect the limits and ceilings of any relationship determined by the two sides,” and would seek to maintain the security and stability of Jordan, but he does not say whether Hamas has asked to reopen a Hamas office in Jordan. Most analysts believe (e.g., NYT 1/30) that Hamas will not centralize in 1 new location but will diversify. Cambridge expert Khaled Hroub says, “with newly emerging governments in the post-Arab Spring era, many of them Islamist, Hamas wants to be hosted and embraced and have offices in these countries.” He also argues that this marks a “paradigm shift” in Hamas led by Mishal to embrace the Arab Spring’s promotion of nonviolence, which would make it easier for new governments to embrace and support Hamas. (NYT, WP 1/30)

Mitchell returns to the region for 3 days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian peace teams, Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Shaykh Muhammad bin Zayid al-Nahayan to press Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct talks. After their meeting, Abbas says he will begin direct talks with Israel if it accepts the 1967 borders as the baseline for negotiations and accepts deployment of international forces to guard them. (UPI 7/17; WP 7/18; AFP 7/19)

IDF troops on the northeastern Gaza border fire 3 artillery shells into an open area e. of Jabaliya, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF escorts Jewish settlers into Kafr Haris village nr. Salfit late at night to conduct religious ceremonies; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin; conducts latenight patrols in Tulkarm without incident. Palestinians and international activists take part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against land confiscation and settlement expansion nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron and outside Beit Romano settlement in Hebron; the IDF fires rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, leaving 5 Palestinian injured (including 3 journalists), 10s suffering tear gas inhalation, 1 Palestinian cameraman under arrest, 1 international activist detained for questioning (later released). At least 10 Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian nr. the al-Ibrahimi Mosque/ Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, moderately injuring him; IDF troops observe but only intervene to defend the settlers when Palestinians try to protect the injured man. In Gaza, Hamas authorities attempting to boost their Muslim credentials, begin enforcing a ban (announced 1 yr. ago) on women smoking water pipes in public. (NYT 7/18; WP, WT 7/19; OCHA, PCHR 7/22)

The Knesset, including much of Barak's governing coalition, approves (60-53) a draft bill designed to block a Golan withdrawal by requiring a referendum on a peace agmt. with Syria win support of 61 of the 120 MKs and 62.5% of all eligible voters, whether or not they actually vote. Justice M Yossi Beilin denounces the bill as racist, because it would neutralize the votes of Israeli Arabs, who make up just over 10% of the electorate. The draft is sent to comm., is unlikely to become law soon. (MM 3/1; MM, NYT, WP 3/2; al-Quds 3/2 in WNC 3/6; JP, MEI 3/10)

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah arrives in Damascus for a 2-day visit to discuss with Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad the peace process, convening an Arab summit. Rumors hint that Abdallah may deliver a message conveying guarantees from Washington, proposing a Clinton-Asad mtg. in Geneva. (MM 3/1, 3/3; NYT 3/4; MENA 3/4 in WNC 3/6)

In s. Lebanon, Hizballah attacks an SLA patrol, killing 5 SLA mbrs. 3 SLA mbrs. are injured in a separate Hizballah mortar attack. An exchange of shelling btwn. the 2 groups afterward kills a Druze cleric, injures 2 civilians. (MM 3/1; ANSA [Rome] 3/1 in WNC 3/2; NYT 3/2; JP, MEI 3/10)

Israel's Interior M Natan Sharansky suspends the revocation of the Jerusalem residency card of al-Quds University prof. Musa Budeiri. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the Jerusalem residency rights of some 5,400 Palestinians; half of the revocations were ordered by the Netanyahu government. (NYT 9/12; MEI 9/17; JP 9/24) (see 7/22)

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah sends a special envoy to Tehran to discuss with Iranian pres. Mohamed Khatami joint security cooperation, increased collaboration in stabilizing the oil market. (GIU 9/14)

World leaders attend funeral of King Hassan II of Morocco in Rabat. Egypt's Mubarak, Israel's Barak, Jordan's King Abdallah, PA's Arafat, U.S.'s Clinton attend. Although Syria's Asad stays in Damascus to avoid meeting Barak, his brother, Rifat, attends, grants an interview to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv afterward. On the sidelines, Barak holds brief, warm mtg. with Algerian pres. Bouteflika; also speaks with leaders of Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen. Kuwaiti crown prince Saad Abdallah Sabah refuses to shake hands with Arafat. Clinton speaks briefly with Arafat, Barak, Mubarak about the peace process. (ATL, MAP [Rabat], MENA 7/25 in WNC 7/26; CSM, MM, NYT, USIS Washington File, WP, WT 7/26; RE 7/26 in WNC 7/27; MM, WT 7/27; MA, QA 7/27 in WNC 7/28; MM, WP 7/28; QA 7/28 in WNC 7/29; MEI, MM 7/30; al-Watan [Algiers] 7/31 in WNC 8/2; Le Monde 8/1-2; JP 8/6)

Israeli PM Barak sends the IDF to remove 5 mobile homes placed by Jewish settlers on a West Bank hilltop on 7/23 to expand an existing encampment, Shvut Rahel. Barak does not order the dismantling of Shvut Rahel itself--1 of 25 new enclaves that have been set up since the Wye agmt. was signed in 10/98. (NYT, WP 7/26)

In Amman, Iran, Jordan hold talks on expanding cooperation in culture, religion, tourism. (IRNA, RJ 7/25 in WNC 7/26)

IDF bulldozes the temporary shelter constructed by the Palestinian family whose home was demolished on 7/14. (INFOPAL [Internet] 7/30)

In Cairo, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah continues talks with Pres. Mubarak on the peace process, bilateral relations. (Saudi Arabian Kingdom Radio Network 6/5 in WNC 6/8)

In Hebron, a settler opens fire on a Palestinian car, killing a passenger. (LAW 6/5)

In Bethlehem, Palestinians protesting Israeli settlement activity clash with IDF troops. No injuries are reported. (AP [Internet] 6/5)

In Amman, King Abdallah of Jordan, Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia call on Israeli PM-elect Barak to exchange land for peace with the Palestinians. The crown prince then heads to Cairo, where he meets with Pres. Mubarak. (MM 6/4; MENA, RJ 6/4 in WNC 6/8; WP 6/5)

Lebanese PM Salim al-Huss makes 1st visit to Jazzin in 17 yrs. by a top Lebanese official. (VOL 6/4 in WNC 6/8; NYT, WT 6/5; al-Ba`th 6/6 in WNC 6/11; MEI 6/18)

Yugoslavia accepts an international peace plan negotiated by Russia, Finland (acting for NATO) for ending Kosovo conflict. The plan provides "substantial autonomy" for Kosovo, return of all 850,000 ethnic Albanian refugees. U.S. expresses cautious optimism, says air war, which began 3/24, will continue until treaty is fully implemented. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/4; WP 6/5; GIU 6/7; MM 6/11; GIU 6/14)

In Damascus, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah holds a 2d round of talks with Pres. Asad before leaving for Amman, where he meets with King Abdallah. (`Ukaz 6/2 in WNC 6/8; MM 6/4)

SLA completes withdrawal fr. Jazzin. Lebanese government says it will not grant amnesty to the 203 SLA mbrs. who elected to surrender to Lebanese authorities rather than evacuate. (MM 6/3; RL 6/3 in WNC 6/8; NYT, WT 6/4; JP 6/11)

Fewer than 3,000 Palestinians across the territories observe the PA's "day of rage" to protest Israeli settlement expansion. In Bethlehem, Gaza, Hebron, Nablus, and Tulkarm, demonstrators clash with IDF soldiers, who respond with tear gas and rubber bullets, in total injuring 36 Palestinians, killing 1. (MM 6/3; HJ 6/3 in WNC 6/8; al-Akhbar, al-Quds 6/3 in WNC 6/9; CSM, NYT 6/4; al-Quds 6/4 in WNC 6/11; LAW 6/6; MM 6/7; JP 6/11; MEI 6/18) (see 5/30)

At a roadblock nr. Yattir settlement in the West Bank, an IDF soldier fatally shoots a Palestinian motorist who allegedly tried to run him over. (CSM, NYT 6/4)

PLO Executive Committee (PLOEC) meets in Ramallah to discuss resumption of the 4/27+n29 PLO Central Council (PCC) mtg., which will continue discussion on possible declaration of a Palestinian state. (al-Ra'i 6/2 in WNC 6/3; al-Quds 6/4 in WNC 6/11)

In Paris, King Abdallah of Jordan holds talks on the peace process, debt forgiveness with Pres. Jacques Chirac. (AFP, RJ 6/2 in WNC 6/3)

In talks with Syrian pres. Asad in Damascus, Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia offers to mediate btwn. Asad, Arafat if it would help coordinate a unified Arab stand on the peace process. (al-Nahar 6/2 in WNC 6/3; MM 6/3, 6/4)

IDF suspends export licenses of the Israeli company Orlil based on reports that Orlil stole U.S. night-vision equipment purchased for the IDF, sold it to "Far Eastern" countries. (Globes [Internet] 6/2 in WNC 6/3)

A day before Israeli elections, 2 minor candidates--Center party's Yitzhak Mordechai, Herut's Benjamin Begin--withdraw fr. the race for PM, fearing their campaigns undermine efforts to unseat incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (NYT, WP, WT 5/16; MM 5/17; al-Ahram 5/18 in WNC 5/19)

On the 2d day of his visit aimed at improving bilateral relations and regional security, Iranian pres. Mohamed Khatami meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/17; MEI 5/21) (see 5/15)

Kuwait's cabinet gives women the right to vote, run for parliament as of 2003. The decision must be approved by the new parliament elected in 7/99. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/17; MM 5/19, 5/27; NYT 6/18)

King Hussein dies. Crown Prince Abdallah is sworn in as King Abdallah II, appoints his half-brother Hamza as crown prince. Jordan declares a wk. of mourning. Syria, Egypt announce official 3-day mourning period. Syria also postpones 2/8 presidential elections. (IDF Radio, Interfax, IRNA, JTV, RJ, RL, VIRI 2/7 in WNC 2/8; AFP, Xinhua 2/7 in WNC 2/9; GIU, CSM, NYT, WP, WT 2/8; MA, SA 2/8 in WNC 2/9; CSM 2/9; WJW 2/11; JP, MEI, PR 2/12)

King Hussein removes his brother Prince Hassan as crown prince, says one of his sons (most likely Abdallah, his eldest by a previous marriage, or Hamza, his eldest by Queen Nur) will be designated regent soon. The king's letter of dismissal to Hassan, who was crown prince for 34 yrs., accuses him of meddling in army matters; settling personal scores by forcing soldiers to retire, changing ambassadorial staff; demanding to choose his own crown prince after his ascension rather than having a family council decide, as Hussein wants. King also meets with PM Tarawnah to reiterate his confidence in his government. (al-Hayat 1/22; al-Ittihad 1/22, JT, RJ 1/23 in WNC 1/26; NYT, WP, WT 1/23; NYT, WT 1/24; MA, YA 1/24 in WNC 1/26; JTV, Petra-JNA 1/25, 1/26 in WNC 1/27; JP, MEI 1/29) (see 1/20; Docs. B4, B5)

PA releases Islamic Jihad leader Shami. (WT 1/23) (see 12/13)

Saudi Arabia opens celebrations marking `Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud's capture of Riyadh in 1902 (100 yrs. ago by the lunar calendar), unification of the country in a series of tribal wars. (NYT 1/23)

EU Elections Unit (EUEU), charged with observing the elections process, criticizes Arafat for violating election laws, incl. shortening the campaign period fr. 22 days to 2 wks. and increasing the number of Palestinian Council seats fr. 82 to 88 . The changes were made by Arafat, not by the CEC. (WT 1/2; Guardian 1/2 in FBIS 1/2; MM 1/2; CSM, WJW 1/4; JP 1/6; WJW 1/11)

Saudi Arabia's ailing King Fahd turns over royal authority to his half-brother Crown Prince `Abdallah. Officially, Fahd's leave is temporary; `Abdullah will serve as regent, deferring major political decisions to Fahd. (MM 1/2; WP 1/7)

IDF imposes curfew on Hebron Palestinians, clashes with Qiryat Arba settlers protesting death of settler girl.  Settlers occupy 3 apt. bldgs. on hill nr. Qiryat Arba; IDF declares hill closed military zone.  (NYT, WP 7/9)

"Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners" in Ramallah reports that 7,170 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. (TJT 7/8)

American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and PECDAR sign 3-yr., $3 m. agreement to support agriculture, fisheries in Gaza Strip, Jericho area.  (ANERA release 7/11)

Vatican "FM" Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran opens 3-day official visit to Jordan to meet King Hussein, Crown Prince Hasan, govt. officials.  Talks to focus on diplomatic relations, status of Jerusalem.  (RJ 7/8 in FBIS 7/12)

Bilateral Israeli-Syrian, Israeli-Lebanese peace talks resume in Washington. But talks between Israel, Jordanians, Palestinians fail to take place when Israel rejects 2-track approach of meeting separately with Palestinian and Jordanian components of joint J-P delegation and insists on meeting only with combined delegation in one room. (WP 12/11)

At Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) meeting in Dakar, Senegal, Saudi Crown Prince 'Abdallah bin 'Abd al-'Aziz underscores continued Saudi anger at PLO and Jordan by shaking hands but refusing to embrace Chmn. Arafat in traditional Arab greeting of friendship, and avoiding greeting King Hussein altogether. (WP 12/1 1)

Israel decides to establish direct dialing telephone service to 11 Arab countries (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates) [see 12/5]. Calls will be completed by satellite connection which routes them through U.S. (MM 12/11)

France issues 6-point 11th-hour initiative calling for Saddam to leave Kuwait; similar appeal is made by Yemen, Algeria, Tunis, and Libya. EC gov'ts., frustrated by seeing diplomatic efforts rebuffed by Baghdad, say they plan no new initiatives before the deadline [TDS, AFP, AES 1/14 in FBIS 1/15; NYT, LAT, WT, WP 1/15]; touting French plan, Algeria's Pres. Benjedid leaves for Baghdad [AGS 1/14 in FBIS 1/15].

Revolutionary Command Council votes unanimously to follow Saddam Hussein in defying UN resolutions; measure also authorizes Saddam to undertake last-minute political settlement [ADS 1/14 in FBIS 1/14; INA 1/15 in FBIS 1/15; MEM 1/14; NYT, WP 1/15]; Saddam sends "open message" to King Fahd decrying Saudi's Gulf stance [BADS 1/14 in FBIS 1/15].

PLO's second-ranking official, Abu lyad [Salah Khalaf] is assassinated in Tunis; Abu al-Hol [Hayel Abdel Hamid] and aid Fakhri al-Omari are also killed (cf. 1/15) [TDS, AFP, SPA 1/15 in FBIS 1/15; NYT, LAT, WT, WP, MEM 1/15].

UN Sec.-Gen. Perez de Cuellar arrives back in New York from Baghdad, having failed to secure any concessions from Saddam Hussein [NYT, LAT 1/15].

Kuwaiti Crown Prince and P.M. warns that multinational forces would strike at civilian as well as military targets in Iraq: "If he [Saddam] bombs Kuwait cities, we'll do the same to Iraqi cities" [NYT, WP 1/15].

Allied officials agree that U.S. and British troops will conduct all offensive military operations while French and Arab troops will remain in defensive positions in war [LAT 1/15].

FBI rejects requests to stop interviewing Arab-American leaders about potential terrorist plans, but agrees to discontinue certain political questions such as "How do you feel about the Gulf situation?" and "How do you feel about Saddam Hussein?" [LAT 1/15].

Saddam Hussein orders the phrase "Allahu Akbar" ["God is great"] be added to Iraq flag [INA 1/14 in FBIS 1/14].

Israeli High Court orders defense establishment to distribute gas masks to Palestinians in o.t.; since only limited number are available, Palestinians in Jerusalem area and those closest to Israel will receive masks [JDS, IDF 1/14 in FBIS 1/15; WP, MEM 1/15].

King Hussein and Chrmn. Arafat discuss Gulf crisis at meeting in Amman [ADS 1/15 in FBIS 1/15].

3-day "Popular Kuwaiti Congress" grouping 1,200 Kuwaiti exiles opens in Jeddah with Crown Prince suggesting the country's defunct parliament would be revived and free elections held once Kuwait is liberated from Iraq (cf. 10/15) [NYT, WP 10/14].

Responding to UN Sec. Council vote calling for UN investigation into Haram al-Sharif shootings, Israeli cabinet sec. says: "We will not cooperate with them. We don't need to give any reports, remarks, or excuses to this delegation." P.M.'s office says delegation will be admitted to Israel, but will not be helped by anyone in the gov't (cf. 10/14) [NYT, WP 10/14]; Sec. Baker sends letter to F.M. Levy making clear that admin.'s "sense of concern over Israel's handling of the situation [on 10/8] would have led us [U.S.] to support UN Sec. Council action regardless of the situation in the Gulf" [NYT 10/16].

British For. Sec. Douglas Hurd meets in Cairo with Pres. Mubarak to discuss Gulf crisis [MENA 10/13 in FBIS 10/15; NYT 10/14].

King Hussein meets in Amman with Iraqi F.M. Aziz about the continuing diplomatic ef- fort to persuade Iraq to leave Kuwait [NYT 10/14].

Gen. Michel Aoun, leader of Christian militia that opposed Syrian-backed Lebanese gov't for 11 months, surrenders after Syrian air and ground attacks in E. Beirut; seeks refuge in French embassy [BVL 10/13 in FBIS 10/15; NYT, WP 10/14].

Military Action:

IDF ambushed in Tyre.

Casualties:

Some IDF wounded in Tyre; Ansar review committee recommends release of 150, 1,100 cases heard out of 5,400 detainees, review committee established under the Fourth Geneva Convention on civilians as Israel does not recognize detainees as POWs covered under Third Geneva Convention.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Sharon, Shamir and chief negotiator David Kimche meet for 2 hours with Habib and Draper, discussion focuses on 3 main differences between US and Israel (surveillance stations, UNIFIL, role of Saad Haddad); Commission of Inquiry completes 3?/2 months of investigation covering 49 witnesses, 152 eyewitnesses, 65 hours of testimony, 17,703 pages of transcript, closing with oral arguments of lawyers for 9 senior officials (Sharon, Eitan, Drori, Yaron, Dudai and Mossad head); Begin meets with head of Association for Prevention of Emigration, agrees to consider setting up ministerial committee to combat emigration (now 200,000 Israelis in the US alone); Israeli Foreign Ministry paying $5,000 per month rent on Saudi-owned villa along Beirut-Damascus high-way as Lebanon headquarters; Education Ministry setting up a committee to review curriculum in Arab schools and examine educational, psychological and social causes for growing extremism among Palestinian Israeli youth; Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Rakah) candidates win election of Arab student committees in Tel Aviv and Haifa universities; army uses tear gas and warning shots to disperse demonstrators in Hebron protesting arrest on Jan. 13 of 50 students, including entire student council, from Islamic University; Cabinet settlement committee votes to set up 2 new settlements in West Bank near Hebron, and 2 across green line in same area, approves referral center for prospective settlers.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: PLO Executive Committee, chaired by Arafat, meets in Damascus to plan for PNC; Walid Jumblatt criticizes compromise agenda in talks as concession to Israeli and US terms; Lebanese Forces Commander Fadi Frem urges Government to sign peace treaty with Israel to liberate Lebanon from psychological and political domination of Syria.

Arab Governments: Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmad Taleb Ibrahimi says Alteria purchased $20 million worth of arms direct from USSR for PLO in June, and later sent another 2 planeloads from Algiers; Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries reportedly removing British firms from list of eligible contractors due to dispute over PLO representative in Arab League delegation; Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah in Damascus for talks with Assad.